Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Prof Phil Levy appointed Deputy Chief Executive at HEA

Professor Philippa Levy has been appointed Deputy Chief Executive (Academic) of the Higher Education Academy, a national body for enhancing learning and teaching throughout UK higher education.

In this role Phil will draw on her previous experience as Director of a national Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, as well as on her leadership of other learning and teaching development initiatives for higher education and on her research expertise in a range of areas of higher education development.

She will be stepping down as Head of School at the end of May 2012 in order to take up her new role on secondment from the University of Sheffield.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Two free places for alumni of iSchool @ MmIT2012

Two free conference places for alumni of iSchool (Department of Information Studies) @ MmIT 2012

Through the generosity of iSchool, MmIT can offer alumni of the Department a free place at this year’s conference, in Sheffield, on 17th April 2012.

To apply write a c100 word statement of how you think attending the conference will enhance your employability. Phil Levy, head of School will adjudicate on entries.
Further details of the conference are below.

MmIT National Conference, 17th April 2012, University of Sheffield
Reduced budgets? Increased impact!
Increasing LIS impact with new technologies

Conference web site:

Conference timings

9.00 Registration and coffee
9.45 Opening remarks: Leo Appleton (Chair of MmIT group); Professor Phillippa Levy (iSchool, Sheffield) – welcome to Sheffield
10.00 Plenary 1
10.45 Interactive voting
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Workshops
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Six five-minute talks
14.15 Workshops
15.15 Coffee
15.45 Plenary 2
16.30 Q&A session
17.00 Closing remarks
17.15 Tours

Conference plenary abstracts
Marshall Breeding - Director for Innovative Technology and Research @ Vanderbilt University; Editor of Library Technology Guides
Paradigm Shift: A Slate of New Automation Platforms address Current and Future Library Realities
The operations of libraries focus on ever increasing proportions of electronic and digital content relative to print materials. The structure of the legacy library management systems that dominated the last three or more decades of library automation was rooted in print, though some products have evolved better than others to accommodate modern content formats. The established worldview that libraries can rely on one set of automation tools for print and another set for managing digital collections and electronic subscriptions is in danger of collapse in favour of library services platforms that aim toward a more unified approach to resource management. The economic realities that libraries face today demand that they operate in the most efficient ways possible, with workflows that accommodate current needs and not built around assumptions of a past print-centric age. Breeding will provide an overview of the new library automation products now emerging and how they differ amongst themselves and from traditional library management systems. He will also provide information on the development progress of each of these new products and trends relative to their adoption in libraries and forecast their longer term impact on the library automation industry.

Ross Mahon - Google Apps Edu Evangelist @ Google
Cloud Computing and the Digital Natives
The next generation of students bring to University a different set of expectations. These “digital natives” have grown up in a world where consumer technology has evolved at a rapid pace and this has changed the way in which they communicate and share information. Of course, there are many differences within the group and in some respects the problem lies as much in their over-confidence as their comfort with technologies. Meeting the needs of these students and providing the tools to enable the next generation of teaching and learning provides difficult challenges for universities today. Ross Mahon from Google will explore these trends impacting the Education sector and the challenges universities face today addressing them. He will also look at how tools like Google Apps for Education can help universities leverage powerful consumer cloud based technologies to engage students and foster creativity in the use of technology for teaching and learning.

Andy Tattersall - Information Specialist and Claire Beecroft - University Teacher @ University of Sheffield
A Free Web Toolkit for the Modern Library
There are legions of free Web based tools that can help you promote and organise your library and information service. You may have heard of many of them, but how do you choose from a bewildering number of tools? Which will survive in the long term? Which ones offer true value? And which will have true impact? In this session, delegates will be introduced to a variety of tried and tested web 2.0 tools which we believe offer something of real value to LIS professionals. We will debate their pros and cons before demonstrating some inspiring ways in which they’ve been put to use, drawing on examples from public, business and academic libraries. The workshop will show delegates how to make the tools work best for you with minimal effort and how to make them join up to make a cohesive tool kit for any modern LIS. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering ‘Where do I begin with web 2.0?’, the answer is ‘Here!’

René Meijer - Information Commons Manager @ University of Sheffield
Designing Space and Services to Support Digital Literacies
Appraising and creating digital information can be challenging to support, in particular when this information is not in a textual format. Working with media requires different equipment, different spaces and different skills in supporting staff then working with textual and more traditional resources. This interactive workshop will give an overview of how digital and media literacy is supported in the spaces, technology and services available in the Information Commons, and how lessons learned are currently being applied to the design of new spaces and services in the University of Sheffield.

Dave Pattern - Library Systems Manager @ University of Huddersfield
Discovering Discovery: Experiences of Implementing Summon at Huddersfield
This session will cover Huddersfield’s experiences of being the first commercial implementation of Summon in the UK, including details of the implementation, marketing and rollout, and the impact on both information literacy training and on journal usage. The workshop will be an opportunity also to discuss experiences at other institutions and learn from each other.

Jon Fletcher - Faculty Liaison Librarian @ Nottingham Trent University
In the Palm of their Hand: The Next Step for the Handheld Librarian
Ever imagined QR Code library inductions where you collect coins and unlock extra in-game characters by learning about library services? How about Augmented Reality quests where you explore the physical library space whilst hunting mysterious objects and virtual 3D maps? Or have you considered the future of enquiry systems in the mobile age? Many of our users now carry mobile devices which offer previously unparalleled opportunities for interaction, yet many libraries have yet to explore these opportunities. This interactive session will discuss the latest developments in handheld technologies and look at developments in the library world and beyond for examples of good practice and case studies. Participants will be invited to discuss whether libraries can turn the 'wow' factor into the 'now' factor in order to offer exciting (and necessary) new services to users.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Recognition of Sheffield chemoinformatics research

Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry is one of the word's leading chemistry journals, covering all organic aspects of chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, natural product chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, macromolecular chemistry, theoretical chemistry and catalysis. It has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary (see, and the fourth most cited article in the journal's history is a paper from the Sheffield iSchool: "Comparison of topological descriptors for similarity-based virtual screening using multiple bioactive reference structures" by Jérôme Hert, Peter Willett, David J. Wilton, Pierre Acklin, Kamal Azzaoui, Edgar Jacoby and Ansgar Schuffenhauer, and published in Volume 2 (2004) pp. 3256-3266.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Levy attends iConference 2012

Last week Head of School Professor Philippa Levy attended iConference 2012, the annual conference of the international iSchools group of which the Sheffield iSchool is a member.

With the overall theme of Culture:Design:Society, and a great mix of papers, workshops, alternative events and posters, the conference was a testament to the intellectual vibrancy and range of current research in our interdisciplinary field.

iConference 2013 will be hosted by the College of Information, University of North Texas.